Opossums are omnivores, meaning that they eat both plants and animals – like humans. But really, what do opossums eat? Opossums need a balanced diet of proteins, fats, and carbohydrates to maintain good health.
A natural diet for an opossum would be lots of insects (insects are high in protein), small mammals (high in fat), and the occasional fruit or nut (high in carbs). They need a very high calcium diet (which can be found in plant products).
In captivity, opossums/ possums eat different foods including vegetables and dog food. But in summary, their diet can be leafy greens (like kale & spinach), grains (like oats & rice), and fruits (like oranges & apples).
Related: Do Opossums Carry Rabies
Possum diet; What Do Opossums Eat?
Virginia possum is the most common possum (among the over 60 possum species) as it’s a wild scavenger. The opossums will eat during the night and dawn hours – they are nocturnal animals.
1. Opossums Eating Mice, Roach, and Ants
Opossums can be beneficial as they’ll feed on those annoying rodents and pests – including mice, moles, roach, and ants. The possum menu varies because they’ll feed on different parasites!
The opossum is a scavenger – so they’ll eat insects (e.g., bees), small reptiles (e.g., snakes) as well as plant material like fruits or leaves from trees. They also will consume bird’s eggs if available.
2. Do Opossums Eat Plants?
Opossums will eat plants and nuts – but this is not their primary food source. The animals, despite being an omnivore (eat meat), they are really more herbivores.
They need a lot of calcium in their diet; it’s needed to help form bones or teeth, but opossum mothers pass on calcium-rich milk while nursing the babies until weaning around six weeks old.
The animals also consume small amounts of grasses as well as leaves which they’ll find near water sources. They also consume plant material like fruits or leaves from trees.
Any insects they happen to come across while foraging is then consumed too as well. The animal’s diet changes seasonally, depending on what food sources are available (e.g., more fruit when there are different varieties of it).
3. Eat Dead Weeds and Plants
Opossums will also eat dead plants and weedy vegetation – this gives them a high quantity of calcium in their diet to maintain bone density. They’ll feed on the plant matter that is decaying – as opposed to the well-nourished plants.
Consumption of animals will result in poor quality meat due to the high levels of uric acid which causes arthritis. Opossums do not produce an enzyme called uricase, so this substance builds up more quickly than other mammals such as dogs.
The same applies if the opossum consumes insects with hard exoskeletons or bones (e.g., bees). These types of foods may cause stomach ulcers and reduce calcium absorption for the animal.
4. Opossum’s Feed on Carrion
Opossums are nocturnal omnivores – they’ll feed on a variety of plant and animal matter (including carrion). They’ll also eat roadkill and other dead animals that you find on the road or in the wild.
Opossums have an excellent sense of smell and can find food in areas where other animals are unable to. This is because they will eat anything, no matter how rotten it may be – this includes bones, hair, fur, or teeth.
Insects that Opossums Eat: Spiders (dead) Termites Wax worms Beetles Ants Grasshoppers Crickets Fleas Caterpillars Slugs Moths Earthworms Butterflies
The opossum’s low-quality meat doesn’t affect its ability to digest the insects listed above well as their tough exoskeletons don’t seem to bother them too much.
5. What do possums eat in the Garden; Insects
What do possums eat from my yard? Opossums feed on a variety of food sources including meaty foods (rodents) such as squirrels or mice to more plant-based fare consisting of berries that grow wild in woodlands or forested areas.
A possum’s diet is omnivorous. Possums like eating dead animals as well as vegetables; such as tomatoes and potatoes. They have a variety of food in the garden, including; dead animals, snakes, toads, rodents, garden slugs, and pests.
Insects that opossums generally consume include spiders (dead), termites, wax worms, beetles ants, grasshoppers, crickets, fleas, caterpillars, moths, butterflies, earthworms, butterflies, slugs, frogs, and lizards.
Insects are high in calcium and protein. They will eat any bugs they can find in the garden, like; ants, spiders (dead), slugs, frogs, termites, and beetles.
6. Do the Eat Snakes
Do possums eat snakes: Yes! The opossum has some blood protein that makes them safe from the snake’s venom- and thus they tend to eat snakes.
The opossums are not bothered by the snake’s venom – and so they will consume a rattlesnake, toads and thus save themselves from death by snakebite. The animals will eat snakes’ just like they do with frogs or slugs.
In fact, scientists are delivering and anti-venom for use on humans – taking advantage of the special feature of the opossums’ blood. Ty these gopher traps.
7. Opossums will Eat Garbage
The animals will go through the trash bin and eat garbage if they are hungry. Despite that the Opossums will hunt down the household pests (free pest control) – it can get messy when they ransack the garbage area.
They are attracted by the garbage smell, and they will drink milk, juice, or soda if it is available. But this can be a problem when the opossums run down the garbage bins and bags to scatter the trash all over your yard as they look for food scrapes.
Opossums love garbage disposals; just like raccoons and they’ll do what it takes to get their paws on a tasty meal.
– Opossums are opportunistic feeders, meaning they will eat whatever is readily accessible – for example if there’s food spilled over the side of a garbage can, an opossum will climb up and fetch it so long as he or she doesn’t encounter too much danger in doing so.
– They’ll scavenge through your trash cans at night looking for any edibles that may have been thrown out from dinner preparations earlier in the day (garbage disposals do not deter them).
Garbage contains various items including pet foods that can be eaten by opossums – but you must also keep the home’s drainage system clean.
8. Opossums Can Eat Fruit and Vegetables
The opossum will also consume fruit, vegetables, nuts, berries, and eggs. Some of the vegetation that they’ll eat includes corn kernels, pecans, apples, or beans – but not all possums are vegetarians.
They’re omnivores so these animals can be either plant-eating or meat-eating; it is simply a matter of what’s available to them. This means an Opossum may go out into your garden looking for tomatoes if you have plants in there–but then come back inside when he sees some bacon cooking on the stove!
They are attracted to fruit trees because of the availability of food – but there may not be a lot left on the ground once they’ve eaten what was within reach.
They eat apples, oranges, grapes, figs, and persimmons as well as blackberries that have fallen from vines into overgrown bushes near their homes.
There have also been reports of opossums eating fruits with high sugar content such as peaches and plums – which can cause diarrhea in other animals who forage at commercial fruit bins (especially pigs).
This scavenging animal has learned to adapt its diet over time as conditions change because their environment changes too.
9. Pet Food can Make Opossum Diet
Cat or dog food is something Opossums would eat on their own if left to scavenge, but it is also food that can provide them with the nutrition necessary to survive in captivity and will sustain them during rehabilitation when in need of supplemental feeding.
Opossums will eat pet food in urban areas, particularly when left outside the homes – particularly since there is not much roadkill and wildlife to forage. So, these animals will prowl around your property at night hunting for pet food.
10. What Won’t opossums Eat?
Outline the possum menu: Outlining what opossums eat is just as important as what they do not consume! Here are some foods that Opossums Don’t or Won’t Eat:
– Corn on the cob (they don’t have teeth)
– Dog feces (it might contain worms if it has been left out in rain)
– Human corpses from cemeteries (again because of possible worm infestation). They do however feast on roadkill! What Do Possums Eat Bugs? The possum tends to go through periods of activity at
On the question; what do opossums eat – here are some of the meals that opossums eat: – carrion (dead animals) – ectoparasites (animal or plant parasites found on an animal’s skin, fur, feathers, scales, etc.) – fruits and vegetables. Opossum diets will vary depending on what is locally available in a given region.